Originally published in The Northern Light

Smoked salmon in Alaska can be equated to Texas barbecue. Everyone has the best recipe, and is willing to prove it. How you make your brine to what you brush you salmon with before it enters the smoker is all a proponent of your family tree and what’s available to you.

Sometimes you’ll see glazes like teriyaki added, or even honey. In more unique households, grape jelly and whiskey are the secret ingredients to their salmon snack.

I’m not claiming my family’s smoked salmon is the best, but many have said so. Find out for yourself.


Six fresh salmon fillets

1 quart of Water

1 cup of Brown Sugar

1/2 cup of non-iodine Salt


1. Clean your fillets and slice into small pieces, about 5 inches across.

2. In a large bowl place each cut salmon piece, flesh to flesh, with skin exposed.

3. Mix your brine together in a smaller bowl and pour into the larger bowl. Let sit overnight in refrigerator.

4. Heat your smoker with alder chips.

5. Place the salmon side by side on the smoker rack, and then place in the smoker.

5. Let the salmon smoke for 4 to 6 hours, replenishing the alder chip pan about three times. This is all dependent on weather and temperature. Salmon is done when the salmon is firm and opaque.

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